Once you've recovered from the initial euphoria of getting engaged to the love of your life, you may be wondering how to get started on your engagement party. An age-old wedding tradition, the engagement party is a way of formally celebrating your plan to tie the knot, more so than posting it on social media.
It's designed to be a fun day to gather your family and close friends to share in the excitement – all going as planned, these will be the same people who will be celebrating the big day with you in the months to come!
To help you host the perfect engagement party, here are a few things for future brides to bear in mind.
While you may be excited to share this special time in your life with everyone you love, there's no need to rush into throwing an engagement party the second you (or your partner) say yes. Take time to let the news sink in, and enjoy the novelty of the idea with just the two of you.
You'll also want the breathing space to start thinking about who you want at the engagement party, as anyone in attendance will most likely expect to get an invitation to the wedding itself. If you invite someone to your engagement party, but not to the wedding, you may have them wondering whether they've done something to offend you.
The size of your engagement soiree is totally up to you. However, as a precaution, it's probably a good idea to keep things more intimate. For the reason we just mentioned, you can't know for certain how many people you'll end up having for the wedding, so it's best to limit the guest list to people you absolutely want to be there for the big day.
In addition, engagement parties make for an excellent opportunity for both families to get to know each other, so it's probably for the best to keep things simple and not too crowded. A smaller affair also keeps expenses down, an important factor when you're planning on booking a wedding venue and shopping for your perfect wedding dress!
While the most straightforward way of doing things it to invite everyone around to celebrate your engagement, another fun way to do things is to make the announcement a surprise. This may be challenging – if you are particularly close with your family or friends, your first instinct will be to tell them immediately!
However, there's nothing quite like the excitement of making the engagement a surprise. If you and your partner have been together for a long time, your families may have guessed something like this was coming, but they won't know for certain until the big reveal, which is what makes it so much fun.
Just make sure you have a good reason (or pretence) for getting everybody together, or your guests are likely to see right through you!
Celebrating in style
There are plenty of great ideas out there on how to pull off a memorable and enjoyable engagement party. The parents of the bride are traditionally the hosts, but this doesn't have to be the case at all.
You can choose to throw the party at a favourite restaurant, and book out a private room for you and your guests. By contrast, you can also do something as laidback as a family BBQ – there are no rules here, and it should be something you and your partner can enjoy in good company.